RECAP of PANEL DISCUSSION: Future skill sets in demand & how to prepare for jobs that don't exist yet
Traditional Career Paths are gone and there is not just one Future of Work. There are many.
What nobody tells you about Career Development...
The traditional model of career development and progression
studying for years to get a degree to then start the 'real world' experience and work your way from the bottom up
is (and has been for a while) become irrelevant.
17 Jobs. 5 Careers. 1/8 years/role.
Looking at various research, it is safe to say that - whatever our role is now, the tasks we are doing and the responsibilities we have - won't be the same that they will be in another 3, 5 or 10+ years. The actual years may differ from industry to industry and research to research but in fact, it doesn't matter.
Education still follows the traditional model and prepares you for one role or profession.
We learn what to think and not how to think and looking at the number of tasks that can already be replaced by technology, traditional education hardly makes sense for past paced and constantly changing environments (different story if you want to become a Doctor or Scientist etc as the principles don't change).
'Traditional Education is dead.
We hire Generalist; not Specialists.
Personality, ability to tell a story and their cultural fit - this is what we after.'
A panel discussion I moderated last week was all about future skill sets and how to prepare for jobs that don't exist yet.
We had a very interesting discussion and tackled the topic from various angles.
Myles Lawlor, Head of Technology at Youfoodz said he doesn't care which degrees talents have and which uni they attended.
Key for him to select the right candidates is their ability to tell a story and make their interests, strengths and results they can bring relevant to what the organisation wants to achieve.
Not going to lie .. it sounded like music to my ears because this is exactly what I work with my clients on:
Using their previous experience to either pivot in their career, step up or step out - and tell their story (online and offline, verbally, written and visually) so it is clear to those who make the decision that they are the right person for them.
However ... the last time I checked, it wasn't part of the everyday school/uni curriculum?
So how can we not only survive but thrive in tomorrow's economy and be not just a but THE person to be chosen for what we want to achieve (whatever it might be - from a career to (new) clients to investors, co-founders, staff, ...?)
Some of the key take outs from the discussion:
✅ Technical skills are not enough. They are replaced by new widgets and tools too quickly.
Specialists are not hired anymore. You need soft skills: empathy, communication, problem solving, sense making, story telling to be and stay relevant for organisations.
✅ No matter if you are a Tech talent or not, you need to be customer obsessed and actively (aka personally) get human customer feedback to make the engagement better and more effective. There is no hiding behind screens anymore.
✅ Traditional Education, Degrees and Qualifications ... - not enough anymore and hardly considered in the hiring process.
Get industry experience and as much of it as possible, don't rely on the piece of paper to get a job!
✅ People buy people and this goes especially in the hiring process. Leaders are looking for the best possible cultural fit.
You need to know yourself so you can not only be pro-active with approaching the best industry, profession and people to get you in your highest performing zone but then also communicate clearly and confidently why you are not just the right but the BEST candidate for the role.
What’s your purpose, what sets you off, what are you driven by, how can you add value and to whom, how do you manage your energy and continue to perform at your peak?
✅ Build a network, focus on real connections, not likes or followers. Have conversations to build trust and a relationship as this is often where you get your next job / business opportunity from.
✅ Don't rely on digital application processes, keep it human and go the extra mile. Pick up the phone! Meet for coffee, ask for feedback, get a mentor or coach.
✅ Take control over your own development and career. It's no one else's responsibility other than yours to look after your own progression through knowing and owning your point of difference to match it with commercial opportunities so you can take the actions towards achieving it.
You never get what you want if you can't ask for it. Be clear about where you want to get to and surround yourself by those who have been there and can make it easier for you to carve out your own path.
✅ Continue to be uncomfortable and don't get stagnant in your box. People put you in certain boxes already.
The more you can take control over it and create your own box rather than trying to fit into others, the more you will be able to be in your flow zone and with that, at your peak.
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